Encouragement

  1. Meditating on God's Wonderful Works this Summer

    Meditating on God's Wonderful Works this Summer

    When I was a child, and even into my teens, I spent most of my free time outdoors. Whether playing active games with friends, exploring the neighborhood woods, or simply lying in the grass trying to identify different shapes or figures in the clouds, we spent much of our summer disconnected from media or other electronics.... More

  2. A hopeful and timely message in Habakkuk

    A hopeful and timely message in Habakkuk

    Amid such troubling circumstances in Habakkuk’s day and ours, God speaks through the prophet. Here are three insights that are particularly helpful and applicable to our present circumstances.... More

  3. Don’t Lose Heart!

    Don’t Lose Heart!

    Last week, I was tempted to lose heart. So much injustice, despair, hatred, lawlessness, and senseless violence on display. Our old Minneapolis neighborhood—the one in which we raised our children—was the scene of massive looting and destruction. Friends reported to us that it now looked like a war zone. It’s enough to lose heart, especially in light of my hopes and prayers for the next generation of children in that neighborhood.... More

  4. Bursting with Joy before You Teach

    Bursting with Joy before You Teach

    Teachers: Do you ever find yourself “bursting at the seams” before you enter the classroom? Are you bursting because your mind and heart have been so excited, moved, and transformed by what you have feasted on through the Word during the week that you just can’t wait to share it with the children? One of my great joys in teaching children biblical truth is how the Lord uses the time spent in lesson preparation to feed my own soul. ... More

  5. No Greater Joy in 2020

    No Greater Joy in 2020

    As a parent and grandparent, there is a special joy that comes from watching your family grow and mature. But amidst all the fun, and the giggles and smiling faces of my grandchildren, there is a verse that comes to mind that reorients my joy and makes me long and pray for something much deeper for their lives as they grow up… I have no greater joy than to hear that my children [and grandchildren] are walking in the truth.
    (3 John 4)
    ... More

  6. Christmas joy from one generation to the next

    Christmas joy from one generation to the next

    We rejoice today because Jesus visited us!
    Heaven’s door has been opened.
    A child has been born.
    A son has been given.
    The eternal King of Israel is here!... More

  7. A Timely Reminder of God’s Purpose in Suffering

    A Timely Reminder of God’s Purpose in Suffering

    As we were sitting in the Cleveland Clinic waiting room, I received a text recording sent by a young mother in our church. I tapped the arrow and heard this sweet reminder spoken by her twelve-year-old daughter, "Hi Mrs. Michael and Miss Kristi. We prayed for you. God's eye is watching and His hand is working to uphold and govern all His creation to fulfill all His purposes." ... More

  8. Encouraging Your Children with a Bible Reading Plan

    Encouraging Your Children with a Bible Reading Plan

    The new school year is well underway and, if your children are like most kids, their schedules are increasingly packed with tasks and activities—homework, sports practice, music lessons, church programs, friends, family, and more.  But what about Bible reading? Are you helping them to prioritize reading the Bible as a daily, beneficial habit? ... More

  9. Engaging and Equipping Parents for Discipleship

    Engaging and Equipping Parents for Discipleship

    Does it ever feel like the parents in your church seem to view children’s and youth ministry as a “drop-off” center meant to do the work of discipling their children? Or, maybe as a parent, you feel as if the church treats you somewhat like an incompetent outsider when it comes to discipling your own children? ... More

  10. Why They Need a Robust Training of the Mind

    Why They Need a Robust Training of the Mind

    Consider these statistics that author and parent Natasha Crain notes in her article, “What Your Kids Need for a Confident Faith”:

    61% of kids who were involved in church as recently as their teenage years become spiritually disengaged by their 20s—not actively praying, reading the Bible or attending church.This finding, based on the extensive surveys of researcher George Barna, is the alarm that has sent pastors, youth leaders, and young adult ministries desperately searching for answers. Multiple independent groups have since conducted their own studies and have identified the same trend—with some estimates of those turning away from Christianity as high as 88 percent. Why is this happening? Having studied the various survey results in depth, I think it’s fair to summarize the collective problem in one sentence: A lack of robust spiritual training has resulted in a featherweight faith for many of today’s young adults, and that faith is being blown away by attacks from our secular culture. ... More

Page